MINUTES OF MEETING
CORAL SPRINGS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District was held on Monday, April 15, 2002 at 4:00 p.m. in the District Office, 10300 N. W. 11 Manor, Coral Springs, Florida.
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Robert D. Fennell President
Clinton Churchill Secretary
Karl Miller Supervisor
Also present were:
Gary L. Moyer Superintendent
Rhonda K. Archer Finance Director
Dennis Lyles District Attorney
Donna Holiday Recording Secretary
John McKune Gee & Jenson
Roger Moore Engineer
Thomas McCormick CH2M Hill
James Dyak CH2M Hill
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Moyer called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the March 18, 2002 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated that each Board member had received a copy of the minutes of the March 18, 2002 meeting and requested any additions, corrections, or deletions.
There not being any,
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Change Order No. 1 to the Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase I Contract with Intrastate Construction
Mr. McKune distributed the change order and stated as you will recall a few weeks ago we had a rather large spill because of a ruptured pipe. A large portion of what is in this change order represents an attempt to forestall any continuation of similar problems. We put in new pipe that will replace the pipe that was put in over a 25 year period in about five different expansion projects. Most everyone thought we knew where all of the piping was and as it turns out that is not the case. This was our chance to make sense of the spaghetti that was in the ground. We ended up with a plant system that will be easier to operate and more effectively operate and doing what it needs to do. Item one is the addition of influent and effluent piping for the old Plants A and B and for new Plant E. A and B represent the oldest of the four plants. We have now successfully removed the majority of that piping, some of which was leaking. That amounts to $52,023.60.
Item number two is the addition of the 24" piping required and all of the labor during the emergency we had a few weeks ago during the spill. The contractor only charged for his overtime. We had him working 24 hours per day for about three days. The amount of that item is $22,435.89.
Item 3 relates to the sludge lines. We had a sludge treatment system installed about 15 years ago that was not operated with any success. All of those old lines are still underground. About half of those lines were incorporated into subsequent solids handling systems, the result being the operators themselves didn't know where some of the wastewater and sludge would go when they turned various valves. We have eliminated all of the confusion and ended up with an effective system. The amount of that item is $16,485.94.
Mr. Fennell asked is that done or to be done?
Mr. McKune responded it is done. All of these are essentially done. This work is done as they are digging.
The final item relates to an additional efficiency item for the two newest plants which are Plants C and D. In the process of rerouting one of the new 24" lines it ended up going next to and adjacent to the effluent lines taking the treated wastewater from Plants C and D. We eliminated the design arrangement of the piping and installed additional by-pass lines and valves to allow future operational modifications and a future expansion if it comes on line for the chlorine contact tank. That amount is $67,421.52 for the additional work with a credit of $15,344.66.
That brings the total additions to $158,366.95 with the total deduction being $15,344.66 for a total change order of $143,022.29.
On the bottom of the change order is the language requested by Mr. Lyles such that it forecloses on the contractor going back against us for either time or additional dollars for these items.
Mr. Moyer asked is that pretty much all of the yard piping?
Mr. McKune responded yes. There may be some 6" lines but we have basically excavated all of the areas where we expect to find problems like this.
Mr. Fennell asked what did you find?
Mr. McKune responded all of the lines, lines that were plugged, valves that would not operate. We took apart one 24" valve and the operator had bolts missing, it was sheared and we could not get parts. We removed it. Removing valves in place in process lines cause a tremendous problem. In that instance we by-passed the whole system.
Mr. Miller asked is this a function of deterioration from age?
Mr. McKune responded the non functioning valves, the plugged lines, the leaks, yes.
Mr. Miller stated I presume when a contractor is brought in, he is given all the plans showing everything in the ground.
Mr. McKune stated we do and we like to think that the plans are accurate in locating where the underground lines are but they are never totally right.
Mr. Fennell asked are you re-burying these lines?
Mr. McKune responded yes. At this time Mr. Moore and I are working with the contractor in properly locating the lines, horizontally and vertically.
Mr. Fennell stated I understand there are devices you can use so that you can later detect them.
Mr. McKune responded we use those at service locations. In addition to that you can get magnetic tape to lay on the pipe.
Mr. Fennell asked are you doing that?
Mr. McKune responded not on these lines. Most of these lines are iron pipe and are easy to find. Mr. Moore is putting the locations in the computerized database he is developing. For the first time you should have a very good set of as-builts including not only piping but also electrical conduits.
Mr. Moyer stated the reason for the pipe deterioration that we discussed last month was because there were high points in the pipe and there was an accumulation of H2S. In the reinstallation of that pipe are we doing anything to address that with air release valves?
Mr. McKune responded yes, two major items, one is put the pipe on a constant slope so the air if it gets in ends up being discharged which is what we thought we had to begin with or if it is unavoidable that you have a hump, we are putting in air release valves which are automatic devices.
Mr. Fennell asked was the other pipe as bad as the one you showed us last month?
Mr. McKune responded no. That was the worst.
Mr. Miller asked are there any other pipes like that, that are of comparable age and composition?
Mr. McKune responded yes, there are. The original force main that brought in Ramblewood Subdivision comes in the front gate is an iron pipe that has been in the ground since 1972. We have been thinking about digging down to it and exposing it which is exactly what caused the previous lines to rupture. We want to drill into the pipe and take coupons out of the top of the pipe to see how much pipe material is left. We are still looking at optional ways to do that.
Mr. Miller stated I thought we talked about this a few months ago as to whether or not we had a handle on all the projects that we needed to do to bring everything up to date and we were given a list and I don't believe this was on that list. Do you have any idea how this is going to ultimately cost?
Mr. McKune responded this is the kind of thing that we can't plan for. It is difficult to determine what you are going to uncover when you start digging. With regard to the force main that comes into the plant, one of the options which is the cheaper option, instead of digging up the one that is there and relaying it which gives you an operational problem, we will simply leave that line alone, put in a new line that goes down the eastern property line that ties into a newer force main that then comes into the plant and we would simply abandon that old line. That is commonly done.
Mr. Moyer asked wouldn't the extension of that concern be that, you have a lot of force main from 1972 in the ground. Why would that force main be any different from a force main anyplace else in the system?
Mr. McKune responded it wouldn't be with one exception. You generate gas directly in proportion to the length of time it has been in the pipe and depending on the temperature of the line and the closer you get to the plant, the longer it has been in the pipe so the propensity to form this corrosive gas and resulting acids increases as you get toward the plant. Mr. Moyer is correct, all of the old iron pipe is subject to the same type of problem.
Mr. Moyer asked can the force main coming into the plant be lined if you could shut down the lift station system? I don't know how fast they can get in and line it but if they could, does that make any sense?
Mr. McKune responded anything can be lined. You would have to take it out of service, clean it and that would be a real job and I don't recommend doing that because you need some structural integrity to reline. One of the representatives of CH2M Hill who is here today is currently managing a $500 million program for the City of Fort Lauderdale which is going to do a lot of renovations to the wastewater system and this is the kind of thing that periodically needs to be done. It is unavoidable. These systems do not last forever.
Mr. Churchill stated the concern being expressed here is we really don't have a handle on what needs to be done. I am constantly in a state of leaving satisfied that we know what we are doing and have taken care of the emergencies and then we find out that is not so. As you said today, there is an unknown quantity of lines that could be bad that will have to be dealt with. Is this an emergency? Are all of the pipes from 1972 likely to be bad?
Mr. McKune responded no, but I can't tell you where they are bad nor can I tell you where they are good.
Mr. Fennell stated I have to believe there is a better way to understand the state of the system rather than waiting for failures.
Mr. McCormick stated I am spending a lot of time in the City of Fort Lauderdale trying to find non-intrusive and non-destructive ways to test these lines. It is a problem across Florida and very typical because of the temperature and the nature of sewage. There is currently no non-destructive way of telling what the condition of the pipe is. We have been trying to find tapes that you can run down a line that will give a reading on the inside of the line but we haven't found a way to do it around the nation on sewer lines. They do it on gas lines and fuel lines and oil pipe lines but they are not doing it on sewage which is a different fluid and more difficult to handle. The way people are tracking and predicting right now is they are recording the number of incidents and then you pull a coupon and that is not a very effective way to do it because when you pull a coupon you hope you are hitting a spot that is bad. A coupon is when you dig up a pipe, cut out a section of the pipe and check it to see how much metal is left. The hydrogen sulfide degrades the metal over time. Primarily it is a high point issue in the line through construction or if it is laid perfectly during construction you can get settlement and it doesn't take much to trap gas and then you get a blowout. The quandary you are dealing with is what do we do about it. Other than knowing if you face that problem on these lines and possibly setting aside a reserve to deal with this going forward and replacing those lines when you have a chance or as part of your ongoing capital improvement program, there is not a lot of predictive technology to work with. It is something you have to anticipate and deal with going forward. You can look at your system and know the older lines but a new line can do this if you have a high point in the line.
Mr. Miller asked what is the outer life span of the pipes that are 30 years old if there is no high point in the pipe? Can they go 50 years?
Mr. McKune responded 50 years is the normal life. The cast iron pipe people will give you 100 years. We have seen 50 as common. Just about anything should last 25 years.
Mr. Miller stated whoever is on this Board in the next few years is going to have to deal with this from what is being said.
Mr. Fennell stated except for what we heard at the last meeting when a pipe in the yard that was not that old had a problem.
Mr. Miller stated there is no way to predict if that is going to be a problem. That was more of an anomaly than something that is going to be systemic in a few years when they start hitting the end of their life span. Maybe we should start budgeting for that now. It sounds like it will be very expensive.
Mr. McKune stated the force mains that may have deterioration due to the gas are outside the limits of the pavement and are relatively easy to find and dig up. The expensive system to replace would be the gravity sewers that basically run down the center of the roadway.
Mr. Churchill asked what can we do about this today?
Mr. Fennell stated we now have two high power groups, Severn Trent and CH2M Hill. There might be more preemptive things we can do
Mr. Miller stated if we have a study done now, maybe we can see what out exposure might be. From what is being said, it is not cost effective to go in now. We can get another 20 years or more out of the pipes. It is also something that if we see this as a huge problem down the road, we may want to look at it soon to get an idea of how we will deal with it on a long term basis so we are not scrambling at the last second to come up with the solution.
Mr. Fennell stated maybe we should be monitoring the quality and the occurrences and problems that we have and try to get a prediction to see where we are. We now have two sizable groups helping us and I think we are looking for a more formal answer on how we can monitor this, what it will cost us to run any tests and how can we be preemptive.
Mr. Churchill asked how do we establish reserves?
Mr. Miller stated you have a range where a certain percentage will last 50 years and a certain percentage will fail sooner. Looking at that to get a rough figure we need to know how many feet of piping will need to be replaced and a ballpark figure.
Mr. McKune stated that exercise can be performed if we could come up with a rational, defensible number over time.
Mr. Churchill stated I think that needs to be done.
Mr. Fennell stated you may come back and tell us the failure rate is slow and occurrences are not as bad as we think. The consequences of a failure are much higher than they were when these systems were originally designed. We are asking for Severn Trent and our new engineering firm to come up with an engineering study and tell us what we can do to try to predict this. Should we just be monitoring these things in our system and are there any predictive systems available that we can adapt.
Mr. Miller stated also if possible how many feet of exposure do we have and the cost of dealing with that once it starts to wear out.
Mr. Fennell asked when can we expect that report?
Mr. McCormick stated rather than asking for a report, why don't you ask for a proposal of how you go about getting that information, getting to the point you want to get to. You are asking for something similar to the MOMS Program, Management Operation and Maintenance, EPA driven program.
Mr. Miller stated my thinking is that Gee & Jenson have been the engineers from the beginning. The records should be available as to how much pipe is in the ground. There are probably studies showing failure rates. You can come up with the cost. I think it is all information readily available.
Mr. McCormick stated we can give you a proposal and lay out the intent.
Mr. Fennell asked why don't you come back next month and tell us what it will take to get us an answer. We are looking for an answer in two or three months. if it takes longer than that and if it takes too much cost, you have gone too far. You should be able to come up with this with 20 to 30 hours of engineering time. You should know all of these things such as probabilities of failure. Next month you can give us a proposal.
Mr. McKune stated we will make it an agenda item.
Mr. Churchill stated when I see a change order I feel that we forgot something and we are now reacting to it. This isn't really a change.
Mr. Fennell asked does it make a difference from a legal standpoint of what we call this?
Mr. McKune stated that is what it is called in the contract documents.
Mr. Lyles stated it can be given another label but having been through a lot of these in a lot of different contexts, change order is a term that has become a term of art. It is part of the vernacular of public works construction projects and it covers a multitude of things. As you correctly point out, this is not a change in the project. It is an emergency condition encountered in the field and it had to be dealt with but they are universally referred to as change orders because it is a change to the payment items spelled out in the original contract document.
Mr. Churchill stated I understand.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
There not being any, the next item followed.
1. Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
2. Update on Construction
Mr. McCormick gave a brief presentation on the background of CH2M Hill, the reasons for the merger with Gee & Jenson and the increased resources available to the District.
There not being any, the next item followed.
Mr. Miller asked for the list of emails.
Ms. Archer stated I will take care of that.
Mr. Moyer stated most of the time when there is truly a complaint that has any sort of merit, it does end up in front of you such as the people from Eagle Trace, and the odor complaints.
Ms. Archer stated I drove the Sawgrass very slowly and in most all the other areas it looks like all that property on that side of the canal is being maintained by the homeowners associations. There are trees growing along the top of the berm and grass going down both sides. It looks like the associations have taken over the responsibility of maintaining that because they are the ones benefiting from that view except in a couple of isolated areas like Eagle Trace.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor's Requests and Audience Comments
Mr. Fennell gave a brief report on a water planning meeting he attended.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of Invoices
Meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.
Clinton Churchill Robert D. Fennell